Greenberg: Another Heartbreaker (In The Family)

You may remember the WASHINGTON POST publishing a 61-photo tribute to Virginia Tech hoops coach Seth Greenberg’s lovely daughter Paige (on left):

Seth Greenberg's Daughter Paige Greenberg Photos

I’m happy to report that it’s officially time for the Post to freshen up that Greenberg file.

Last year after Seth Greenberg’s Virginia Tech Hokies were beaten in the ACC Tournament by North Carolina, effectively ending their chances for a NCAA Tournament bid, this was the reax of Ella Greenberg, Paige’s younger sister:

Ella Greenberg cries after VA Tech loss in ACC Tournament

This year after Seth Greenberg’s Virginia Tech Hokies were beaten in the ACC Tournament by Miami, effectively ending their chances for a NCAA Tournament bid, this was the reax of Ella Greenberg, Paige’s younger sister:

Ella Greenberg Tweets after VA Tech loss in ACC Tournament

What a difference a year makes. Yes, Ella has matured into a poised young woman. A woman who, like sister Paige, now attends Virginia Tech.

Seth Greenberg's Daughter Ella Greenberg Photos

Unlike her sister though, Ella is a cheerleader:

Seth Greenberg's Daughter Ella Greenberg Photos

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‘7 Restaurant’ Not Affiliated With Mike Vick. Riiight

Suppose - just suppose - there were a “7 Restaurant” that popped up in the middle of Virginia, just about 100 miles from where Michael Vick went to college at Virginia Tech. Also, just suppose there are pictures of Vick on the wall. And jerseys of his. It wouldn’t take too much of a leap in logic to assume it’s his restaurant, right?

Michael Vick Andre Kendrick 7 Restaurant

Ah, not so. First of all, thanks to bankruptcy, he doesn’t have any money. Further, the restaurant was indeed started by a standout Virginia Tech Hokie from that 2000 runner-up team, but that would be Andre Kendrick, not Vick. Incredibly, according to DIGITALCITY.COM, Kendrick and his co-owner say the restaraunt’s name has “no association” with Vick. Thank God; there’s no telling what the menu would look like.

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Friday Tonic: Beamer’s Classy Act For BC Player

It’s been quite the week for battling college players, as anyone in the general vicinity of the University of Kansas can attest. But how can we leave you on a Friday with images of Mark Mangino angrily spanking his players with a spatula? It wouldn’t be right. Let’s shift our gaze to the rolling hills of Virginia, where something much more uplifting is going on.

Frank Beamer, Mark Herzlich

Virginia Tech is playing host to Miami in what might be considered a rather important ACC tussle on Saturday. And among the items for purchase at the university bookstore in Blacksburg, besides these, will be wristbands for $1, with the proceeds going to a very special cause. It’s all Frank Beamer’s idea, and it’s a pretty classy move on the part of the Hokies head coach. Read more…

Oh, So This Was Why Rich Rodriguez Was Crying

I was wondering what possibly could have been in the water supply yesterday as first Bill Belichick, and then Rich Rodriguez began crying during their respective press conferences. Could the Michigan coach really be that broken up over allegations that he’s violating NCAA practice rules?

Rich Rodriguez

Then comes news that our maize-and-blue man in charge is being sued for a condominium deal gone sour in Blacksburg, Virginia. And not only that, Rich was recently served a summons right in the Wolverine football offices. Yeah, that always makes me cry.

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VT Cheergirl Uses Real Name For Playboy Tryout

When I was away at college, my parents had a Google News Alert out on my name, so they could keep track of me if I popped up in the local sports section (or the crime blotter). Carly Hinchman had better pray her parents don’t do the same, because the Virginia Tech cheerleader just tried out to be in Playboy, and stupidly gave her real name when talking to a local news station about it.

Carly Hinchman

Playboy is scouting Blackburg for its “Girls of the ACC” issue, and the Hokie cheerleader (soon to be ex-cheerleader) tried out, along with four other young ladies. She told the Roanoke NBC affiliate that she hasn’t told her parents, which is a great way to keep it secret. Thanks for proving once again the inverse correlation between intelligence and eagerness to take your clothes off.

And yes, this is two Playboy posts in a row. Are you complaining?

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Speed Read: Newspaper Carnage Only Beginning

The meltdown of the American newspaper industry is in full effect. The past six weeks have seen the closures of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News, marking two of the largest newspaper closures in recent memory. And yesterday came news that might be a sign of disaster for one of the nation’s leading newspapers: the SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES reports that roughly 120 employees of the San Francisco Chronicle have accepted voluntary buyouts as the paper struggles to avoid sale or shutdown.

San Francisco Chronicle

According to a list from the SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA PRESS CLUB, those leaving the paper include NFL writer Nancy Gay, college sports writer Jake Curtis, deputy sports editor Larry Yant and a host of other writers, editors and photographers. This should be taken as a giant red flag if these people are getting out now, especially someone as respected as Gay; trust me, people just don’t leave NFL reporting positions at major newspapers unless something is going terribly, horribly wrong.

Leaving the Chronicle

But even the voluntary exits might not be enough - parent company Hearst Corporation (which also owns the now-online only Post-Intelligencer) has said that it needed to cut “at least” 150 jobs to avoid a shutdown or sale, with the paper currently bleeding money at a rate of $1 million a week. And with the chances of a corporation wanting to buy a failing newspaper next to zero in this climate, it seems as though the only two options are to slash the staff to ribbons or close shop.

As bad as the first option sounds, the alternative is even more daunting. Especially when you consider that the San Jose Mercury News recently announced that it was essentially abandoning the San Francisco market by stopping all weekday deliveries to the city.  Which leaves a very real possibility that the nation’s 12th-largest metropolitan area could be without a major daily newspaper (the San Francisco Examiner, currently having been reduced to a free handout resembling The Pennysaver, doesn’t count).

It seems like Mark Cuban might be prescient when he blogged about the slow death of the newspaper sports section; let’s hope that his idea of teams and leagues banding together to provide beat reporters to cover the same teams and leagues doesn’t pan out, but if the San Francisco Chronicle can fold, is any idea that outlandish?

And don’t think that it will just stop with the Chronicle: the paper was only sixth in TIME’s recent list of “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America”. Ahead of it on the list are papers such as the Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Miami Herald. That’s a lot of major sports teams that are suddenly going to be underserviced by local media, if at all.

Tim Floyd

Also possibly endangered: the continued success of the USC men’s basketball program. After making the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season for the first time in school history, the Trojans might be going back to square one as ESPN has word that an Arizona radio station is reporting that Tim Floyd has agreed to become the Arizona Wildcats’ new head coach, with an announcement as early as today.

This is all speculation, and as the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS notes, this radio station has recently also had Rick Pitino and Jeff Capel as taking over at Arizona, so take everything with a grain of salt. But the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that there may be smoke to this fire: Floyd apparently flew out yesterday to Tucson and was given 24 hours to decide on accepting the position by Arizona AD Jim Livengood.

Which is all very interesting, since Floyd rejected an overture by LSU last year, saying that USC was “his last job.” Then there’s the matter of the “impassioned speech” he gave at the team banquet Wednesday night, imploring players such as Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan to not jump to the NBA and come back next season to help the Trojans make a run at a national title. And then he got on a plane the next morning to interview for the Arizona job. That’s venturing into Bobby Petrino level of sleaziness.

Diego Maradona

Finally, a busy night of World Cup soccer qualifying has also brought us two people to add to the endangered list. The first is Argentine legend Diego Maradona, whose own near-death experiences with drugs and weight made him frequently endangered in the past. But this time, it’s not his life that’s in danger but his managing career, after his Argentina squad was demolished 6-1 by lowly Bolivia.

How embarrassing is this? It’s the first time they’ve given up six goals in a game since the World Cup…in 1958. Bolivia is 50 places behind Argentina in the FIFA world rankings, and their hat trick hero was Joaquin Botero, who plays for a second-division team in Mexico. This is Chaminade beating Virginia type stuff, where you glance at the box score over and over to make sure you didn’t read it wrong, before convincing yourself it’s just a typo.

And speaking of Mexico…if I were embattled manager Sven-Goren Eriksson, I wouldn’t even bother making the team flight back from Honduras, where his team suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat, unless he wants his severed head to be placed on a pike outside of Atzeca Stadium as a warning to future managers.

The win allowed Honduras to leapfrog Mexico into the third and final guaranteed CONCACAF berth in the 2010 World Cup. Although there’s a lot of games left in both North & Central American and South American qualifying, there’s a chance that Argentina and Mexico could wind up facing each other in a two-game playoff, with the winner getting a World Cup spot and the loser staying home.

Other sports stories you might have missed last night as you were going to the hospital ER in Texas again…and again…and again

  • This is not going to help Wisconsin out in recruiting at all: the DAILY CARDINAL reports that the Badgers have banned ESPN’s Erin Andrews from working as a sideline reporter during games in Madison because she’s too much of a “distraction.” Unless this is a particularly clever April Fool’s joke…which it is.
  • Erin Andrews

  • Remember when Pete Carroll acted petulant at Mark Sanchez’s press conference announcing he was turning pro? Scouts at USC’s Pro Day tell the LOS ANGELES TIMES that Carroll is now claiming he acted that way to “test” Sanchez’s resolve to turn pro. Because acting like a spoiled child is going to convince him to come back.
  • It’s not just American athletes who get into trouble at strip bars late at night: THE MIRROR has word that Sunderland and French international striker Djibril Cissé has been arrested after allegedly grabbing a woman by the throat at a late-night strip club. You might remember him for having the distinction of suffering horrific, Theisman-like leg breaks not once but twice in his career, which you can watch here and here. (Warning: not for the faint of heart.)
  • Give Sen. John McCain credit for doing something right: the DALLAS MORNING-NEWS says that the former Presidential candidate is lobbying for a posthumous pardon of old-timey boxing champ Jack Johnson for trumped up, racially-biased charges. It still won’t make me forget that McCain voted against Martin Luther King Day, but it’s a start.
  • A word of warning: don’t take a quick paycheck to record canned introductions to videos for a company you know nothing about. Greg Gumbel failed to heed this advice, and he wound up as the spokesperson for a time-share, which ONLINE SPORTS GUYS says has lead to a lawsuit. Here’s one video in question:

  • SI.COM says that the Hockey Hall of Fame has changed its rules, opening the door for the first female player to be voted in. Someone in Canada, Don Cherry is burning his plaid Depends adult diapers in protest.
  • Hey look, another lacrosse team has been forced to suspend their season because of alleged misconduct. But the story of the Curry College team is far different than Duke, according to the BOSTON HERALD. Team members allegedly hazed new players at a party, although even the freshmen “victims” seem to think it was no big deal. Remind me to bring a lawyer if I ever go to a college lacrosse party.
  • WSLS-TV says that Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer prepared for the upcoming season by doing some NASCAR racing. He didn’t do so hot, but his goiter was signed to a developmental deal with Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Somehow former Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar is being dragged into the Rod Blagojevich mess. RUMORS AND RANTS reports that Kosar was on some sort of fundraising “hit list” put together by the then-Illinois Governor with the Steve Garvey haircut just before he was arrested.
  • The Boston Celtics barely avoided another humiliating defeat to the Charlotte Bobcats, as the BOSTON GLOBE reports that Ray Allen’s three-pointer at the end of OT gave them a 114-106 victory.

What is your primary source of sports news and opinion?

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Crazy Hoops; Pens Have Heart; GM’s Heated Chat

• What a crazy night in college hoops - Northwestern stuns Michigan State, Virginia Tech vanquishes #1 Wake Forest, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology puts an end to its 51-game losing streak.

Kevin Coble Northwestern Michigan State

(Kevin Coble & the ‘Cats had the Spartans hopping mad)

• Meanwhile, a Dallas high school cancels its girls basketball season after getting slammed in a game 100-0.

• An 8-year-old hockey player suffering from cystic fibrosis signs an official contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

• St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak does not suffer online fools gladly.

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Speed Read: Playoffs Ruin The Regular Season?

One of the arguments I’ve heard over and over about keeping the current BCS system in college football is that a playoff would make the regular season irrelevant. Why get fired up about USC losing to Oregon State if they are still going to make it into the playoffs? The traditionalists, conference heads and Beano Cook all agree that college football already has a playoff called the regular season, and a postseason playoff would only tarnish it and make it unimportant.

Michigan State players react to Northwestern loss

Allow me to offer a counter argument based on last night’s college basketball results. Go tell the Northwestern basketball fans (and yes, they do exist) that the regular season doesn’t matter because it’s all about March Madness. In what might be the greatest day in Northwestern basketball history (and possibly the only great day in Northwestern basketball history), the Wildcats beat No. 7 Michigan State 70-63, their first win at East Lansing since 1984.

Or, go ask Virginia Tech fans if they are excited about knocking off No. 1 Wake Forest 78-71, handing the Demon Deacons their first loss of the season (that is if you can get them off the court.) Or Clemson fans how they feel about their team extending their record at North Carolina to 0-54 after getting shellacked 94-70 by the Tar Heels in a match-up of Top Ten teams.

But clearly, nobody cares about college basketball until March, which is why ESPN has about 500 games on a night across their vast network of channels. Seriously, this logic is as flawed as the BCS system itself - college basketball is thriving because of March Madness, not in spite of it, and nights like last night serve as a pretty stark reminder why.

The NBA also has a playoff at the end of the regular season, and people seem to be watching that as well (at least the final three minutes or so of games). And it was a pretty fun night there, too, if not as upset-filled. For example, the Lakers beating the Clippers 108-97? Not a surprise.

Andrew Bynum

But Andrew Bynum going off for 42 points and 15 rebounds? Big surprise. The Lakers are already among the league’s elite teams. If they get anything resembling that kind of production from Bynum on a regular basis, it’s a scary proposition for the rest of the NBA.

Here’s the other sports news you missed last night as you were still stuck in traffic trying to get back from the Presidential Inauguration:

  • With all the great basketball finishes last night, the best one was certainly in the SMU vs. Marshall game, where Markel Humphrey made a 75-foot shot as time expired to give the Thundering Herd a 53-50 victory. WSAZ-TV has the story and video.
  • Marshall player Markel Humphrey

  • You might remember the Greek basketball team Olympiakos when they lured Josh Childress from the Hawks and made a big money offer to Kobe Bryant. Now NEWSDAY is saying that they have contacted the Knicks about getting Stephon Marbury out of his contract and over to their team. I wonder if they buy cheap sneakers in Athens, too.
  • Rod Marinelli isn’t bitter at the Detroit media. No, not at all. MLIVE.COM says the new defensive line coach for the Bears greeted some male Detroit writers who approached him at the Senior Bowl with a curt “Hello, Ladies” before ignoring them. Needless to say, a women’s sports group has already squeezed an apology out of him. Hey, he might not like the Detroit media, but at least he didn’t steal their luggage.
  • Ever see the scores of one of those ridiculous high school basketball blowouts and wonder what it feels like to be unceremoniously thrashed? The DALLAS MORNING NEWS talks to the players on the Dallas Academy’s girls basketball team after their 100-0 loss on Tuesday to find out.
  • OK, I understand that Stanford might be having budget woes, as INSIDE BAY AREA reports. But they have a squash team? What’s next, racquetball? Kickball?
  • I imagine being a ball boy is a rough job - physically demanding, pressure-filled, and having to deal with your friends’ jokes about your job title. So what you probably don’t need is to take a forehand to the head, like STUFF NEW ZEALAND says this poor kid did at the Australian Open:
  • After getting ripped by Troy Aikman, who said that he didn’t “fully grasp what being the Cowboys quarterback is all about,” Tony Romo tells the DALLAS MORNING NEWS that he has vowed to change his leadership style in 2009. The first step: personally delivering a Singapore-style caning to anyone who speaks to Ed Werder.
  • With Charles Barkley having exited the broadcast booth (temporarily or permanently), it’s fallen on Chris Webber and Gary Payton to pick up the slack of slightly insane basketball analysts, and they are doing a fair job of it. NESW SPORTS has video of them slamming Nene for getting married over the All-Star break, which devolves into suggesting that Dwight Howard dunk over him and his bride. Good stuff.
  • In yet another example of the failing economy intruding into the protective bubble we call sports, the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER reports that the Browns have laid off 18 employees, including their Director of Media Relations. Perhaps Rod Marinelli could handle a second job?
  • A high school basketball coach in Philadelphia tells the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS that he doesn’t blame his player who sucker punched him in the back of the head following a close loss, but feels for him. If only my old boss was so forgiving after I kneed him in the groin after he cost us the Putnam Electronics deal.

What was last night’s most shocking college basketball upset?

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Speed Read: Bearcats Go Bust In Their BCS Debut

It started so well for Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. On their first drive of their first-ever BCS bowl game, they marched down the field and scored a touchdown thanks to a pair of big receptions by TE Mardy Gilyard. It was an instant 7-0 lead and a sign to anyone switching over from the dog that was the Rose Bowl that this game could be good.

Cincinnati QB Tony Pike after throwing another INT against the Hokies

And then…pfft. Cincinnati spent the rest of the game playing like a team that was scared to death of being on the big stage. Meanwhile, the Hokies were being the Hokies - physical,  methodical, boring - and just doing enough to salt the game away. The end result? A 20-7 Virginia Tech victory that was moderately more fun to watch than the Sun Bowl. (Hey, at least El Paso had The Village People!)

Meanwhile, in Japan…well, it’s your usual assortment of weirdness from the world of K-1. Specifically, their latest fight card was headlined by Bob Sapp, who combines the physique of Butterbean with the MMA fighting skills of Kimbo Slice into one freak show package that the Japanese can’t get enough of even if no one in the US cares. (Sort of like Cheap Trick.)

Bob Sapp versus a cartoon character

His latest opponent? Um, some guy in a wrestling mask that Sapp outweighed by 140 pounds. And oh yeah, the guy he fought was based on a cartoon character named Kinnikuman. Basically, it’s like if Brock Lesnar fought against the actual Captain Crunch. No, I don’t get it either, but I don’t get most Japanese things (Shonen Knife, sushi, Bobby Valentine). CAGE WRITER has analysis of the card and video of the Sapp/Fictional Character match:

Here’s what else was happening while you were breaking some to all of your New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Bad news for Florida Gator fans: AWFUL ANNOUNCING says that according to Fox, Tim Tebow has apparently decided to transfer to Cincinnati. And play right tackle. And convert to Islam. Either that, or the graphics department at Fox is a mess.
  • Tim Tebow playing for Cincinnati

  • UTEP back-up QB Jeken Frye was attacked on New Year’s Eve by a group of known gang members who came to the house he was at armed with crowbars and metal water meter covers. Not to make light of a serious situation, but honestly - metal water meter covers?
  • The roof of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center at Indiana was damaged by careless welders (wasn’t that a Wham song?), according to the AP. It’s named after the former school president from the 1930s and 1940s who favored strict segregation. Chuck D. says to let the sucker burn.
  • In case you missed it (and frankly, I can’t imagine that you did), video has finally been posted of David Hasselhoff’s triumphant National Anthem performance at the Las Vegas Bowl. And you know what? He’s not quite Marvin Gaye, but it wasn’t a Carl Lewis-style meltdown, either.
  • CAGE WRITER has another UFC fighter doing a Rampage Jackson impersonation: Josh Neer was arrested after leading Iowa police on a lengthy, high-speed car chase. Yeah, but it wasn’t a monster truck, and he sure didn’t have his picture on the side of his car.
  • The CINCINNATI ENQUIRER has word of a girls high school basketball player who is suing her school because she was injured while scrimmaging against men. But the good news is that the way her shoulder separated was very fundamentally sound.
  • Eastern Washington head basketball coach Kent Earlywine missed out on coaching his team against Boise State on Monday, according the SPOKANE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, because he had been popped for a DUI that weekend. But he was able to watch the game online. I guess he had his “wine” a little too “early,” huh? (Insert rimshot here.)
  • The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE says Minnesota Golden Gophers head hockey coach Don Lucia is suffering from an “undisclosed illness” and might miss his first-ever game in 22 years of coaching the team when they take on Brown tonight. I once went a whole three weeks at my old job between missing time with an “undisclosed illness,” otherwise known as being hungover.
  • The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE debunks the latest Manny Ramirez rumors, saying “it would be a mistake to put too much stock” into rumors that have the slugger coming to the Giants next season. Still, if you think Dodgers fans hated Barry Bonds
  • Don Larsen might have pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, but the SEATTLE TIMES says his flight from Idaho to New York to tape a segment for the new MLB Network was a perfect mess, turning a 60-hour trip into six days of travel hell.

Choose your favorite rendition of the National Anthem:

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49ers’ Receiver Channels His Inner Maya Angelou

Catching a football and writing poetry aren’t exactly two things that go hand-in-hand. I mean, Keats could write a mean stanza, but could he run a square in? Enter the 49ers’ Josh Morgan, a rookie receiver who just this year has endured a staph infection, a torn groin, and two months of Mike Singletary.

Josh Morgan

(”See you later, BC fool / I beat you like a rented mule.”)

So Morgan, who was at Virginia Tech during the campus massacre and grew up in a rough area in Washington, D.C., lets the words flow whenever he feels the inspiration. And of course he uses every poet’s favorite tool for writing down his or her thoughts — a T-Mobile Sidekick.

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